Tidbits - January 24 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



SUPPER OF CHAMPIONS
  All my life, it never crossed my mind that champion teams that got invited to the White House were treated to a meal.
  Perhaps,  if President Trump hadn’t waited until practice began to invite the national champion Gamecock women basketball team, I would have known. The team had to decline the invite since it came so late, so I remained ignorant of the activities.
  Combine the press’ disdain for President Trump and the government shutdown, the love of publicity of President Trump, despite the fact he doesn’t like the press, Clemson football team’s visit to the White House after winning the football championship was not just a one minute blurb on the national news, it was a week long media event. 
  The president wanted everyone to know he was serving the Tigers fast food - burgers (or berders as he spelled it on Twitter), fries, pizza, and for the health conscious, salads, and he wanted it to be known he was paying for the meal himself.
Can’t you just picture Trump in the presidential limo at the McDonald’s drive-thru ordering 300 Big Macs.
  The meal, just like the president knew it would be, was a media event.
  Tuesday at lunch, I posted on social media, “I just went through drive-thru at Burger King. I guess I’m eating a meal of champions.”
  Some thought I was making fun of the president, while some others thought I was downing Clemson, while most saw that I was merely making a joke.
  To be honest, I can’t think of a better meal to serve to a bunch of football players.
  Would they rather eat fast food, or sit down to a formal dinner that requires three forks?
  The players loved it. They have to eat “training table food” during the season, and rarely have a change to eat junk food.
  One player said he wished the president had served Chick-fil-a, but that would have added to the firestorm, since Chick-fil-a closes on Sunday and the owners are avowed Christians.
  Within 24 hours the meme makers started spreading untruths.
  One showed a picture of Trevor Lawrence, and had the quote, “President Trump got all our favorite foods, it was the best meal ever. Then we go and see the coastal elite media trashing it for not being organic vegan. We’re football players, not bloggers. This was a perfect blue collar party.”
  When I saw that on Instagram. I  knew Lawrence didn’t say it. What teenager would use the phrase, “coastal elite media trashing it for not being organic vegan?” None, especially one whose main concern is winning football games.
  Lawrence said he didn’t say what was attributed to him, and the meme was eventually deleted. It was fake news in support of a president who hates fake news.
  Many criticized the president for the fast food, saying the national champion Tigers deserved a much more fancy meal.
  Michael Strahan, a NFL Hall of Famer, now “Good Morning America” host, invited the Tigers to come to New York and he would treat them to a lobster dinner.
  I don’t know where Michael is from, but Southerners don’t eat many lobster meals, except a morsel at a Red Lobster.
  I’ll turn 68 in two months, and I have never eaten a full lobster. I would have to be shown how it is done.
  When I was the age of many of the Clemson players, I went to New York City with three of my friends from Carolina.
  One of the friends was from Connecticut and his father worked in the city and took us out to dinner one night at a French restaurant.
  Being from Saluda, the only thing French I had eaten in my life were fries and the salad dressing in the lunchroom. We could have any salad dressing we wanted, as long as it was French.
  I did take two years of French in high school, however, so when the menu was printed in French, I recognized the work “lobster.”
  The dish was called lobster thermador and Bobby’s daddy said it was good, so I ordered it. It was great! I haven’t had it since, nor have I seen in on the menu of any restaurant I’ve visited.
  Bobby’s dad ordered escargot as an appetizer. Unlike Barney Fife, this hick knew what that was, snails!
  We were given the opportunity to taste a small portion of the delicacy. It tasted like a slimey piece of garlic.
  I enjoyed the meal and the experience, but I felt uncomfortable.
  Imagine how a bunch of football players would feel eating lobster.
  Hardly a day went by last week without seeing some mention of Clemson’s dinner at the White House, whether it be by “Entertainment Tonight” or “The Today Show.”
  Many more joke memes were floated on social media.
  All this accomplished was making the Clemson players even more famous. I know they loved every minute of it.

THERE COMES A TIME

  I’ve read where you should replace your mattress every eight years.
  Unfortunately, I don’t know when I bought my mattress and box springs, but I bought them at separates time from Bernard Horne at Horne’s Furniture.
  I don’t know when the store closed, but it was a long time ago.
  Awhile ago, my box springs gave up the ghost on one side. I guess it got tired of supporting the weight I put on after I quit smoking. I was sleeping downhill every night, and the mattress would slide about thee inches off. Every morning I had to push the mattress back in place.
  A few weeks ago, I finally had enough. I had been looking on Amazon for mattress sets. My sister, Elizabeth, ordered a mattress from there and said it was great.
  I decided to start with the box springs. What I really wanted was box spring that would come fully assembled, but the only real choice I had was to buy a mattress and box springs set, or order separate box springs that HAD TO BE ASSEMBLED!
  Knowing my history with assembling things, I didn’t want to go that route, but I had little choice. I hit the “buy with one click’ button.
  The box arrived on a Friday, giving me the whole weekend to put the box springs together.
  Saturday morning, I took the box that weighed 37-lbs. to the living room to begin to lose my mind. 
  It was that same living room that I put together Erin’s “Barbie Dream House” one Christmas and cursed my very existence by the time I had finished putting it together. I was glad I was smoking back then.
  I got down on the floor and opened the box. Lots of parts. “Oh, no!”
  I’ve learned through experience. The first thing I looked for was the directions. The type was so small and the lighting was so dim in the living room, I needed a flashlight.
  I’m not at that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” stage yet, but I’m a lot closer than I used to be. I slowly arose and went to get a flashlight.
  I returned, lit up the directions and separated the clearly marked A, B, C, D, E, F and G parts. The nuts, bolts and tools were in a vacuum sealed pack. When you broke the seal all of the parts fell to the floor.
  And so, I began. I had to start over once, when holes in two of the pieces didn’t line up.
  Before I ordered the box springs, I read the reviews.
  One said, “I am a woman with no mechanical knowledge, and I put the box springs together in an hour.”
  That woman is a dadgum liar!!!
  I refused to time myself, but I finally got the springs together.
  The only thing I had to do was put on the cover.
  One reviewer said he had such a hard time putting the cover on, he had to get a friend to help him.
  Reading that, I was dreading that task, but the cover went on with no problem.
  I removed the old springs, and put the new one on the bed.
  I did not sink, when I sat on the bed!
  Even though my mattress was also several decades old, I decided to sleep on the old one a little while longer, even though it was sagging.
  I continued to check on replacements on Amazon, and several stores on Greenwood when I went to get the paper.
  The other day I was in Fred’s of Saluda and looked to my right and saw mattresses, and they had one my size. Like Horne’s Furniture, I could by a mattress at home.
  Saturday morning, I drove the town in the usual mist, and I bought my first new mattress in 20 or 30 years.
  The mattress and box springs sit so high, I had to park my $100 memory foam pad.
  I didn’t sleep any better Saturday night that I normally did on the old set, but I’m sure I  will adjust, like I do when I sleep in a strange bed on vacation.
  Judging from my past record, I’ll be pushing 100 before my next mattress change, so I better get used to it!

APPRECIATE

  When I took the box springs to the convenience center on January 5, I told Johnnie Dukes I bought the box springs at Horne’s Furniture Store.
  “Do you remember Horne’s Furniture?,” I asked.
  “You bet I remember Horne’s Furniture,” he said.
  The following Saturday, I talked to him again on my usual convenience center trip.
  On my Wednesday visit, I saw Gerald Powell was working. Gerald and I started first grade together in Mrs. Annie Maw Riser’s class a few years ago.
  I had never seen him at “our site,” and he told me he was filling in for the man who died,
  When I asked, he said Johnnie Duke worked Saturday and died suddenly Saturday night.
  I was floored.
  Johnnie was the one who told me recently, “It’s been so wet, I went to check my rabbit box and there were two catfish in it!”
  I put that on Facebook and people enjoyed it.
  We don’t appreciate our government workers enough. I have liked every person who has worked at the convenience center on the Batesburg Highway since it opened,
  All have had good personalities and were willing to help with anything you ask. They become a part of your routine.
  It was sad when I took my mattress to the convenience center Saturday, and Johnnie wasn’t there hear I was throwing away the partner to my box springs.
  May he rest in peace.